A Frog and Toad Holiday

Continuing the theme of frog gifts, I received a wonderful gift from Susan—the children’s book The Frogs and Toads All Sang, by Arnold Lobel with color by Adrianne Lobel (HarperCollins, 2009):


This little book of rhymes has the same droll and slightly absurd humor of the classic Frog and Toad books.  Originally handmade by Arnold Lobel as a gift for a friend, this was the first book he wrote about frogs and toads. His daughter Adrianne writes that these “private sketches, not meant for anyone’s eyes but those of friends, have a confidence and liveliness that anticipates his mature work in books such as the Frog and Toad series…”

Here’s an illustration from the book:


Andrianne Lobel, a stage designer by profession, colored each sketch using watercolors and dyes. I love the drawings and the vibrant watercolors. I like the poems too:

Bright Green Frog

A bright green frog

With slippery skin

Played waltzes

On a violin.

But while he played

With skill and grace,

He wore a frown

Upon his face.

“I fiddle well.”

He sighed.

“And yet…

I’d rather play

The clarinet.”

If you don’t have copies of the original Frog and Toad books, this boxed set contains Frog and Toad All Year, Frog and Toad Are Friends, and Frog and Toad Together.


Of course, you can also get carried away and buy the plush characters, too. I’m not sure I can resist buying the plush versions of my old friends Frog and Toad:




Literary Frogs

I worked in children’s book publishing for ten years, and we published A LOT of books with frog characters, among them The Mysterious Tadpole by Steven Kellogg, The Frog Prince, Continued by Jon Scieszka, and A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog by Mercer Mayer, not to mention The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher (we published all the Beatrix Potter books). Those are just the few I came up with off the top of my head. I thought I’d catch up on all the recently published froglit, but there are too many new books to list, so I’m reading them all and will report back on my favorites.

It did get me thinking however…the children’s book industry has a vested interest in keeping frogs healthy! So perhaps a portion of the sale of some of these books should go toward saving frogs and other amphibians (after all, there are LOTS of books about salamanders and toads too).

The classic children’s book with amphibian characters is, of course, Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel.


I was delighted to discover that a new book by Arnold Lobel about frogs and toads has just been published: The Frog and Toads All Sang.

Lobel died in 1987, but his daughter, Adrianne Lobel, recently discovered poems about frogs and toads that her father illustrated with little sketches. Here’s an illustration from the book:


copyright 2009 by the Estate of Arnold Lobel